Disease, overcrowding, filth, poverty, squalor and ignorance have not ever been strangers to London. Ever since the city started to draw the poor and aspirational, first from the counties, then Ireland, France, Germany and the low countries, those fleeing pogroms in Russia and Poland, and last century from the Commonwealth, slums, poor housing and wildfire plagues have been the consequence. At a time when the authorities don't take public health seriously any more, our old enemies are making a comeback. The University of London has found east London buses irredeemably infested with the eggs of lice, scabies mites and bedbugs. And more worrying, parts of London now have higher TB infection rates than many third world slums. With the risk of multi drug resistant strains going undetected and gaining a foothold that will make it impossible to contain or eradicate.
Nic Connor for Breitbart explains the official 'leaks' that admit the link between TB and immigration. But the real story - because of the political and cultural implications - has remained under wraps. Here you have it in two maps;
My solution? Use the market. Newham is the new property hotspot, with developers and investors tripping over themselves to buy. What no-one tells the poor urban professional moving there is that they now live in an area with higher TB rates than Ukraine, Sudan, Iraq, Ethiopia or Liberia. Republishing the GLA TB map (top) as widely as possible may just, perhaps, prompt some official public health action.
But I doubt it. And when Cholera, Typhoid and Diptheria join TB and parasitic infestations, and Guardian readers start dying in pools of their own lung-blood, I'll try to refrain from saying I told you so.